About the Column

Admit it. You do it a lot. You ask yourself: Why Did Disney DO That?!? Maybe you ask others, too. Maybe you gather in groups, gnaw on turkey legs, and ponder what Disney does. But any such gab sessions inevitably lead to confusion and perhaps frustration. Because none of us have the answers. Disney has the answers, but it's not telling. The Mouse justifies its actions either with "it's part of our business plan" or the even more nebulous "it's part of Walt's vision". You deserve better. In his column, Lee Beatens will uncover the truth. Or at least deliver some entertaining rants.

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FROM: Why Did Disney DO That?!? Published As Necessary

Disney Parks Blog

Lee talks about the Disney Parks Blog and how it affects bloggers that have been writing about Disney for a long time now. Why does Disney have to poke their nose everywhere? Or is it a good thing?




Disney Steals Its Thunder Back


An amazing thing happened with the computer revolution. The Internet made everyone a writer, and in some instances, an on-line celebrity due to that writing. Some websites have become popular places to drop by to get a daily dose of news and views. And then there’s the blogs.

Whereas websites took not just a little tech know-how to set up, maintain, and update on a regular basis, the simplified Blog did not.


Posting for dummies


So now the Internet is filled with every Tom, Dick, and Jane who fancies themselves a writer with something interesting or important to say. Like me! Yes, I’m a Blogger.

When I first started my on-line ‘career’ I would watch days go by without seeing a single hit. But this shouldn’t have surprised me, for there are literally millions of sites vying for each surfer’s brief attention span. And my Blog was truly awful back then! I’d like to think that it has improved after three years, and if the amounts of hits I now receive are any indication, it must have.

However, the competition between us Uber-fans of Disney has remained pretty stiff! Hundreds of new sites are added almost daily making the pieces of the fandom pie just that much smaller. But that’s OK, because we all do it for the love of sharing our Disney passion.

But none of us saw the big cloud forming over us…


Disney sees an opportunity


Disney Parks Blog


September 28th, 2009: a date that will live in infamy! The Disney Parks Blog goes online and immediately draws a bigger following than most other websites and blogs. The pie, already sliced up and crumbling, went under the knife again!

Disney had always used the Internet to promote its films and special projects. Temporary websites would come and go, featuring sneak peeks and exclusive content not available elsewhere. And all Disney fans, including me, appreciated this.

But although the world was going Blog crazy, Disney just didn’t seem interested in the platform. So it was largely left to the fans to represent Disney in this way.


Why did Disney have to DO this?!?


Do what? Toss its hat into the Blogger ring!

Right off, though, I have to admit that I check out The Disney Parks Blog every day. And so do you. I thrill to seeing exclusive behind-the-scenes footage with Cast Members and Imagineers that isn’t available anywhere else. And so do you. I also love the original artwork and logos published there. And so do you.

So what am I complaining about?

I guess I just wonder if everyone still appreciates the websites and blogs set up by the fans FIRST. Do we still think of, and more importantly visit, our old favorites? Or have we forgotten them in our mad rush to feed directly from the Disney trough?

Remember: It was fan-based websites and blogs that gave you your daily helping of Disney long before Disney decided to open up its all-you-can-eat smorgasbord. So why not revisit some of those long-time, hard-working, tried-and-true diehards out there?

And if you do, be sure to leave them a tip (comment) to let them know that they’re still appreciated! It’d just be a nice thing to do.



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